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20 Good Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice That Keep You out of Trouble

20 Good Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice That Keep You out of Trouble

We’ve all been there before. Whether you’re looking to miss work because you have a friend or family member coming to town or you simply need an extra day, for whatever reason, sometimes you just need a handful of good excuses to miss work on short notice.

While it any given scenario can happen to the best of us, the reality is your employer isn’t likely to appreciate you missing work without a good reason.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of twenty good excuses to miss work on short notice.


Excuses to Miss Work on Short Notice


01Unexplained Sickness
This is quick and somewhat flimsy excuse because it’s overused, but for good reason. How can employer say you’re not sick, if you tell them you are?
Just explain you’re not feeling well — an upset stomach, severe headache or nausea will do — and that you’ll be back to the office as soon as you’re feeling a bit better.
Why It Works
Everyone gets sick from time-to-time, even your boss, so it’s relatable. In fact, you can use this two to three times a year without raising too much suspicion.


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02Lack of Childcare
If you have children, this excuse is one of the best out of all the good excuses to miss work on short notice!
Simply let your employer know your childcare provider has told you they’ll be unavailable on the day you want to miss work.
Why It Works
All parents can agree, childcare is problematic sometimes. If your employer has kids, this is definitely an easy way to get out of work.



03Home Emergency
Things break down from time-to-time. It happens to all of us. Most employers will understand if you tell them you’ve got a broken boiler or flooded basement at home.
Typically, employers will be fairly kind about this excuse as they’ve probably dealt with similar situations.
Why It Works
This excuse creates a sense of urgency, and most employers will understand an employee having an emergency that takes them out of the office.


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04Sick Child
Similar to the lack of childcare excuse, this is another great one on the list of good excuses to miss work on short notice.
If you’re a parent, let your employer know your child is coming down with something and you won’t be able to send them to school/daycare, and that there is a possibility you may be away for a day or two.
Why It Works
Anyone who has kids, or even has friends with kids, knows they get sick all the time. It’s the most believable excuse a parent can use.


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05Purchase Delivery
Major deliveries often require someone to be home waiting for the driver to show up. Let your boss know you have a new appliance or piece of furniture being delivered during the day.
Let him/her know you’re not quite sure what time it’ll be, so you’ll have to take the day off.
Why It Works
An unavoidable part of adulthood involves purchase deliveries. We’ve all been there so it’s understandable for any employer.


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06Car Problems
This is one of the easiest out of all the good excuses to miss work on short notice. Mention that you’re having car problems and need to drop by the mechanic as soon as possible so you can get your car back on the road.
Why It Works
This tactic works best for spontaneous decisions to leave work on short notice. Say you noticed on break that your light came on, and there is a spot available that afternoon.
Don’t use this too often, but keep in mind there are a lot of valid reasons your car gives you a number of good excuses to miss work on short notice.



07Locked Out of Home
This is believable if you don’t use it more than once. You also have to time it right, like calling in twenty-minutes late to explain that you’re locked out of your home and have to wait for a locksmith.
It is especially believable if you have kids or a spouse who will need copies.
Why It Works
This works well because it’s so silly and ridiculous, your boss will simply laugh it off and let you take the day off.


Photo by Markus Spiske under Unsplash License


08Menstrual Cramps
If you’re a woman, you unfortunately know this works like a charm. For you, ladies, It’s one of the greatest out of all the good excuses to miss work on short notice.
Mention that you’re having really uncomfortable cramps, in a suggestive tone, and your boss probably won’t ask for any further details.
Why It Works
It is a fact of life for some women and one that most employers would really rather not deal with.


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Toothaches are incredibly serious, and unbelievably painful as almost everyone can sympathize with. Pretending you are experiencing really bad tooth pain will allow you to go ‘see’ an emergency dentist.
They’ll likely be able to relate. We’ve all been there.
Why It Works
Your boss would seem like a really terrible person if they didn’t let you leave, knowing you are in that much pain.


10Blood Donation
Most people don’t expect someone to go back into work after giving blood. You tend to be tired and have less energy after donating blood.
This is a great excuse as long as you let your boss know a day or so in advance, using it as a half-day excuse for time off.
Why It Works
This excuse will make your boss proud of you for doing something so generous and kind.



11School Closure
This is another great excuse for those who have children. Just let your boss know that schools happen to be closed for whatever reason and you’ll need to stay home as you’re unable to get childcare that day.
Why It Works
Nowadays, it seems like school closes at least a couple of times a month for one reason or another. Just make sure that no one else at work has kids that attend the same school.


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12Religious Holiday
This requires a bit of planning ahead of time. You’ll need to make sure the day you’re taking off falls on a religious holiday of some sort.
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that people would believe you are celebrating this religious holiday.
Why It Works
Your employer won’t question you once you mention religion as it’s technically none of their business.


Photo by Sarah Noltner under Unsplash License


13Visitors from Out-of-Town
This might actually be the case, but it’s on our list of good excuses to miss work on short notice for a reason.
It’s simple… Let your boss know you have visitors coming from out-of-town and if you’re not home, you won’t have a chance to see them as they’re only around for a day or so.
Why It Works
Employers have their own friends and family, so they typically understand when you need to miss work occasionally for out-of-town visitors. Be honest and call it a personal day.



14Family Problems
You can keep this as vague or as detailed as you’d like. Tell your boss you’re having family problems and need to be there for a specific member of your family.
For example, your cousin got divorced and he’s been kicked out of his home so you’ll need to help him move.
Why It Works
Most people won’t push for details when it comes to personal family problems as they don’t want to appear nosy. It also shows you are someone people rely on, and that makes everyone feel good.



15An Accident of Some Sort
You don’t need to claim a huge accident happened, but this is definitely on our list of good excuses to miss work on short notice for a reason.
It’s easy to claim some sort of accident happened, such as cutting your finger while making breakfast and needing to manage it.
Why It Works
Accidents happen to everyone and your boss is no exception. They’ll likely feel sympathetic, which always works in your favor.


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16Tax Audit
Tell your boss you’ve received a call from the IRS stating they’re going to be auditing you. Most people can understand this situation because it happens all the time.
Of course, you’ll want to use this once or you’ll risk suspicion.
Why It Works
This is another excuse that makes your employer feel sympathetic, which is a fool-proof way to get out of work.


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17Food Poisoning
This is a great one on our list of good excuses to miss work on short notice because it’s humiliating and relatable.
Your boss likely doesn’t want to hear details about your food poisoning so they should let it slide pretty easily.
Why It Works
Food poisoning isn’t pretty. Anyone who has been there before will know that and nobody wants details on something that gross.


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18Sore Back
A sore back works especially well if your work environment would cause you further harm. If you work where you are able to sit down, explain that it is so bad, you need to be laying down.
Anyone who has suffered from a sore back knows it’s hard to go into work when you’re in that much pain.
Why It Works
This is another excuse that generates sympathy, if your boss has ever had a sore back before, they know the best way to get better is to rest.



19Pet Appointment
This is one of those good excuses to miss work on short notice because it can be used 2-3 times a year if needed, and completely out of your hands.
Let your boss know you’ll need the day off to take your cat or dog into the vet for vaccines or some sort of health issue.
Why It Works
Pets, similar to kids, have their own medical needs and they depend on us to take them to the vet now and then.


20Jury Duty
This excuse can be hard to pull off if you have to answer any type of questions when you return.
Sure, you can say you aren’t allowed to discuss it, but most court proceedings are public record – you don’t want to be caught perjuring!
If you are confident enough to pull this one off, simply let your employer know you’ve been summoned for jury duty.
If you’re using this excuse, make sure you’re not known for skipping out of work. This excuse is beyond just one of the good excuses to miss work on short notice – it can get you a whole week.
Typically, though you are guaranteed two days off without raising concern.
Why It Works
It is your legal and patriotic duty to appear for Jury duty. How could your boss refuse the call to defend justice?


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Tips and Cautions for Missing Work on Short Notice

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When it comes to using one of these good excuses to miss work on short notice, there are a few tips you should keep in mind:

01Don’t go into a long-winded explanation.


02Determine whether you need to mention the need to miss work ahead of time— is it more believable if it is spontaneous, or with a few days’ notice?


03Call instead of email whenever possible.

Be cautious of using excuses too often. You don’t want to miss enough work to give your boss a reason to let you go. Stick to two to three times per year, leaving room for actual sickness and other potential emergencies.



Sometimes, you just need some good excuses to miss work on short notice. A sick day, doctor’s appointment, and family emergencies are some of the common ones.

Consider any of the tips and suggestions from this list. They will help you to skip work for a day or two and not get into too much trouble. Good luck!